Father Jean’s Handout

As noted in the comments by Suzanne, here is the document


The document mentioned in footnote (i) is available under http://abplefebvreforums.proboards.com/thread/1562/canonical-agreement-doctrinal-resolution-first


In memory of a principal in danger of extinction:



If Bishop Freppel rightly noted that the abandoning of principles inevitably leads to catastrophe, Cardinal Pie leaves us with some hope in affirming that even a small number of faithful who remain true to those principles is enough to safeguard their integrity and thus keep up a chance of restoring order.


However, since the General Chapter in July 2012, the leadership of the SSPX seems to have abandoned a principle that it had hitherto strongly held; namely that it is impossible to envisage a practical agreement with the Vatican before satisfactorily resolving the doctrinal questions.


On the following 13th October, Bishop de Galarreta might well try to explain that “what was done amounts to taking the whole doctrinal and liturgical question and making it a practical question”, the order is no longer respected and we can but fear the consequences that St Pius X warned of: “If the rule seems to be an obstacle to the action, some might say that to dissimulate and to compromise shall help the action succeed. By doing so one forgets the failsafe rules and obscures the principles on the pretext of a benefit that is nothing but an appearance. What shall remain of this construction without foundations, built on sand?”


The aim of this study is to demonstrate, based on Revelation, Tradition and the concordant declarations of Archbishop Lefebvre and the four bishops he consecrated, that the above mentioned principle is absolutely catholic and may suffer neither abandon nor exception, being the will of God Himself and not forged by some traditionalist thinker allergic to all ralliement.


I – Revelation


In the Old Testament as in the New it is God’s firm and explicit will that the men He gratifies with His pure and true doctrine refrain absolutely from mixing with those who profess another, because of the risk of prevaricating.


It is the first recommendation the Almighty makes in concluding the covenant with Moses: “Beware thou never join in friendship with the inhabitants of that land, which may be thy ruin: But destroy their altars, break their statues, and cut down their groves” (Ex. 34, 12-13).


In turn, Our Lord often warned his disciples against the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees
(Mt 16, 6 ; Mc 8, 15), against the false prophets disguised as sheep (Mt 7, 15) who lead many into error (Mt 24, 11), even were it possible the elect (Mt 24, 24).


The apostles were so impressed by these warnings from the Divine Master that they forcefully repeated them to their own disciples:


– “Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them.” (Rm. 16, 17).
– “As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.” (Gal. 1, 9).
– “If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you.” (2 Jn 10).


One could add still more passages from scripture but these suffice amply, being dictated by the Holy Ghost, to be convinced that the duty to keep clear of heretics is a God-given law.


II – Tradition


The early Church Fathers, bearing in mind these doctrinal anathemas, were moved to repeat the exhortation of Saint Paul: “A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid” (Tit. 3, 10).


– “Avoid the heretics; they are the successors of the devil who seduced the first woman”- (St Ignatius of Antioch)
– “Flee all heretics!” (St Irenaeus).
– “Flee the poison of heretics!”(St. Anthony the Great)
– “Do not sit with heretics” (St Ephrem)


And Saint Vincent of Lerins clarifies:


– “The Apostle commands this intransigence to all generations: must always be anathematized those who have a doctrine contrary to the received doctrine”.


It is why Don Guéranger writes to Bishop d’Astros:


– “One of the means to preserve faith, one of the first marks of unity, is the flight from heretics”.


This « first mark of unity » concerns, naturally, the unity of faith, the first characteristic note of the Catholic Church which can have only “one God, one faith” (Eph. 4,5). This same Church which solemnly tells its future subdeacons to “Remain strong in the true catholic faith, for, according to the Apostle, all that is not of faith is sin (Ro. 14, 23), schism, foreign to the unity of the Church”.


To better understand not only the seniority, but also the uncompromising character of our principle, we must engrave in our minds that during more than a thousand years of schism between the Byzantines and Rome there was never, without exception, concluded one single canonical agreement with the Uniates until they recognized the catholic doctrine over the disputed dogmas (Filioque, primacy of the Pope, etc.).


It is what the Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office, recalled on the eve of the Council:


“Once the truth is acknowledged, this truth over which the Church cannot compromise, all the children who return to her will find a Mother prepared to accommodate as magnanimously as is possible in matters of liturgy, traditions, discipline and humanity” (In Itinéraires No 70 p.6)


III – The declarations of our Bishops


– Archbishop Lefebvre: “supposing that Rome calls for a renewed dialogue, then, I will put conditions. I shall not accept being in the position where I was put during the dialogue. No more. I will place the discussion at the doctrinal level: “Do you agree with the great encyclicals of all the popes who preceded you? Do you agree with Quanta Cura of Pius IX, Immortale Dei and Libertas of Leo XIII, Pascendi Gregis of Pius X, Quas Primas of Pius XI, Humani Generis of Pius XII? Are you in full communion with these Popes and their teachings? Do you still accept the entire Anti-Modernist Oath? Are you in favor of the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ? If you do not accept the doctrine of your predecessors, it is useless to talk! As long as you do not accept the correction of the Council, in consideration of the doctrine of these Popes, your predecessors, no dialogue is possible. It is useless.””
(Fideliter n. 66 nov-dec 1988, pp. 12-13).


– Bishop Williamson: “The greatest challenge to the SSPX in the next few years is to grasp the primacy of doctrine, and to measure everything else, and to pray, accordingly. In our sentimental world, the constant temptation is to go by feelings. Not going by feelings is what marked out Archbishop Lefebvre, and if in this respect we do not follow him, the SSPX will go the way of all flesh – into the arms of the (objective) destroyers of the Church. […] Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine!” (Angelus Press, 21 June 2008).


– Bishop Fellay : “…the clear awareness of the much more profound key issue which we have just described, forbids us to place the two issues on an equal footing. It is so clear for us that the issue of the Faith and of the spirit of faith has priority over all that we cannot consider a practical solution before the first issue is safely resolved. (…) For us, each day brings additional proof that we must clarify to a maximum the underlying issues before taking one more step toward a canonical situation, which is not in itself displeasing to us. But this is a matter of following the order of the nature of things, and to start from the wrong end would unavoidably place us in an unbearable situation. We have daily proofs of this. What is at stake is nothing more nor less than our future existence.”
(Superior General’s Letter to Friends and Benefactors no.73, 23 October 2008)


– Bishop de Galarreta : “They evidently want to trouble us, to alarm us by pressuring us toward a purely practical agreement, which has always been the proposition of the cardinal [Hoyos]. Evidently you already know our thoughts. This way is a dead way; for us it is the road to death. Therefore there is no question of us following it. We cannot commit ourselves to betraying the public profession of Faith. Out of the question! It’s impossible.”


(Homily 27 June 2008, Ecône)
“This is not the moment to change the decision of the 2006 Chapter: no practical agreement without a solution to the doctrinal question.” (Report read at the Chapter in Albano 7 October 2011)


– Bishop Tissier de Mallerais : “We refuse a purely practical agreement because the doctrinal question is fundamental. Faith comes before legality. We cannot accept a legalization without the problem of the faith being solved. (…) “It is a new religion that is not the Catholic religion. We do not want any compromise with this religion, any risk of corruption, not even any appearance of conciliation, and it is this appearance that our so-called “regularization” would give us.”
(Interview in Rivarol, 1st June 2012).




The principle “No canonical agreement before a doctrinal agreement” is a principle:


1) Founded on the Word of God, which formally forbids us to associate with those who profess a different doctrine to that which has been handed down by the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1Tim. 3, 15), in particular for over a thousand years in its discussions with the Eastern schismatics.


2) Absolute and allowing for no circumventing, reduction or exception, because it pertains of an “order of nature” as bishop Fellay rightly wrote in the past, and not a conventional process.


In consequence, it being true that one cannot expect to recover after having abandoned certain principals, especially those which concern faith, we must today as much as ever not only hold the principal « NO CANONICAL AGREEMENT BEFORE A DOCTRINAL AGREEMENT », but we must be watchful that it is not forgotten, altered or by-passed, and we must proclaim it come hell or high water for all good-willed souls to hear.


May the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary come to our aid in the true combat of faith and keep us ever in their love!

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